The Board of Carbon County Commissioners (BOCCC) passed four resolutions during their first meeting of 2020 on January 7, two of which denied conditional use permit applications submitted by the Lucky Star and Two Rivers wind energy projects.
Both wind energy projects are being pursued by BlueEarth Renewables out of Calgary, Canada. As was reported previously (see “Coming to an understanding” on page 9 of the August 21, 2019 Saratoga Sun), both projects were to be constructed on a mixture of private, state and federal land.
Planning Director Sid Fox informed the commissioners that he had been in contact with BlueEarth Renewables about the recommendation made by the Planning and Zoning Commission to the BOCCC.
“According to what they told me, they do plan on reapplying for those permits in the spring,” said Fox.
Resolution No. 2020-03, which denies the Two Rivers Wind Project, and Resolution No. 2020-04, which denies the Lucky Star Wind Project, cite incomplete applications as the reason for denial of BlueEarth’s conditional use permits. The reason for the incomplete applications centers around federal land that is included in the proposed construction.
Both resolutions read that a “significant portion” of the Two Rivers and Lucky Star Wind Projects are proposed to be constructed on U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands and “the Conditional Use Permit application did not provide a detailed description of the development proposed on U.S. Bureau of Land Management lands.” The resolutions also read that, while applications had been submitted to BLM, no official decision had been issued as to the level of environmental review required nor the timeframe of such a review.
Under section 6.2(1)(A)(8) of the Carbon County Zoning Resolution of 2015, a Conditional Use Permit for any commercial scale wind energy facilities must include “a list of State and Federal agencies requiring approval and a copy of such approval, include all studies, reports and certifications.” The section goes on to read that, in the event that such agencies have not approved the required study, report or certification, then the Conditional Use Permit is subject to the receipt of a copy of such approval unless “good cause is shown to the satisfaction of the County.”
Both resolutions to deny conditional use permits for the Two Rivers and Lucky Star Wind Projects were approved by a unanimous vote.
The other two resolutions passed by the BOCCC pertained to non-service animals in county buildings and the county’s investment policy.
Resolution No. 2020-01, Carbon County Investment Policy, reads the financial accounting procedures are divided among the county clerk, county treasurer and the county commissioners. The county clerk is designated as the budget officer, the county treasurer is in charge of the county treasury and all payments from the county treasury must be approved by the county commissioners. The resolution also reads “It shall be the policy of the Carbon County Treasurer to invest public funds in a manner which will provide the highest investment return with the maximum security, and conforming to all federal, state and local laws and regulations governing the investment of public funds.”
Resolution No. 2020-02, A Resolution Prohibiting Non-Certified Service or Assistance Animals in Certain County Facilities, reads that any non-certified service or assistance animals are not allowed in all county owned buildings. The resolution does allow for two exceptions; the facility is leased to an agency who lease specifically allows non-certified service or assistance animals or special events approved by the commissioners that require non-assistance or non-service animals as long as “the care, custody and control of the animal(s) are with the owner and that proper insurance coverage is provided for in the event the animal injures a person or damages property.”
The full text of all four resolutions can be found at http://carbonwy.com/archive.aspx under Commissioner Resolutions.
The next meeting of the Board of Carbon County Commissioners is at 9 a.m. on January 21 at the County Courthouse in Rawlins.
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